From the Athletic website, April 11th NCAA Mailbag – https://theathletic.com/3242772/2022/04/11/college-football-group-of-5-realignment-predictions/ (last question):
How do the service academies handle NIL? Are academy cadets allowed to take NIL money? There were substantial moonlighting regulations in place when I was active duty (two decades ago) that I would guess would apply to cadets as well, but maybe they’re exempted? Just curious. — Matthew W.
Service academy players cannot take NIL deals. They’re considered employees at the academies because the government pays for their tuition and housing, and people in the military cannot use their standing for personal gain, per federal laws.
It’s yet another new college sports rule change that indirectly disadvantages the service academies by leaving them out. They can’t accept transfer players either because of the nature of their academic and service situation, but they can lose players to transfer, so the portal and one-time free transfer rules have hurt. They also generally can’t redshirt players, because players get only four years.
Service academy players aren’t in school to make money off it, and they’re not in school to go pro. It’s understandable, given the purpose of the schools, but these rule changes do put the programs in tougher positions.